Never received fully executed contract from builder. Can they keep earnest money?

Asked by Mal, Charlotte, NC Thu Mar 27, 2014

I put an offer in on a home, partially executed the contract, and the builder sent it as a request for approval and gave all parties involved a copy electronically. They verbally said it was approved but never gave me a copy of the contract. They are now trying to say I didn't do something within the timeframe based on the last signature and will keep my earnest money. I NEVER even was given their signature to know the effective date. Are they allowed to keep my earnest money??

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Julius Green’s answer
Julius Green, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri Mar 28, 2014
Very sorry to hear about your situation. What concerns me is, did you go at this alone? It's very hard to give an answer without seeing all the facts! My advice to you is to sit down with the builders to get a better understanding of what's going on. I am almost certain that no builder in town wants a bad rep for not taking care of clients. That's the first thing I suggest! Sit down and meet with them. If the results from the meeting are not in your favor, then I suggest getting an attorney involved. I personally believe you can get this resolved by talking with the builders. I hope this helped you. Email me at if you have any more questions.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Fri Mar 28, 2014
Your buyer agent should be taking care of this and guiding you. If you were buying on your own, it is time to get a lawyer. Electronic signatures are fine if you made an offer, they signed it and emailed it to you. You as the buyer need to follow the contract you signed. if you did not understand, you should not have signed. They can not just keep your money, there should be a part of the contract that outlines this and this is why you may need a lawyer to review it.
0 votes
Amy Baker, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri Mar 28, 2014

If you have a buyer's agent represening you, they should be able to walk you through what happened with the contract signatures etc. If you don't have an agent representative and maybe even if you do, it sounds like you should run this by a real estate attorney. They can analyze your siuation against contract law and tell you what your rights on in regards to your earnest money. If the builder is in the wrong, communication coming from an attorney will likely carry much more weight and get the builder to act in releasing your deposit.

Your buyers agent should be able to refer you to an attorney they work with and trust. If you aren't working with an agent, you are welcome to contact me for an attorney referral.

Amy Baker
Allen Tate Realtors
0 votes
Natalie Bing…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Thu Mar 27, 2014
You stated they "gave all parties involved a copy electronically. Did you receive a copy electronically as well? I would really need to see your contract in order to see what exactly happened here.
You are welcome to call me directly so that we can discuss in detail what took place and perhaps determine if you can get your earnest money back or not.

Natalie Bingham/Broker/Realtor
8604 Cliff Cameron Drive
Charlotte NC 28269
0 votes
Mal, Home Buyer, Charlotte, NC
Thu Mar 27, 2014
I had to sell my home within a certain timeframe and that didn't happen which was a contingency.
0 votes
Well if the contract was contingent upon the sale of your house you should be able to cancel the contract then. What is the address of the house, I may have a buyer for it.
Flag Thu Mar 27, 2014
Warren Green…, Agent, Mooresville, NC
Thu Mar 27, 2014
A good real estate agent representing you the buyer is what you need when buying new construction. They will ensure the transaction goes smoothly and protect you throughout the purchase process.
I guess your agent failed to forward you a copy? If so that doesn't mean there isn't a ratified contract.
Why aren't you completing the purchase?
0 votes
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